Pick up an issue of Black Belt or Inside Kung Fu magazine. Watch a self-defense DVD. Browse a martial arts website. If you had to write captions under each picture, what would they say?
My hands are deadly weapons.
I am nobody’s victim.
Don’t mess with me, or you’ll regret it.
These poses remind your would-be attacker what they stand to lose. And sure, they are intimidating, to a degree.
The problem is, your attacker doesn’t harbor any intention of losing, and so the potential downside may just be disregarded.
Perhaps a different approach to self-defense would be more effective. Instead of emphasizing the risks, how about eliminating the benefits? How about advertising no upside to the attacker, even if they were to achieve a complete and total victory?
My hands can offer no challenge.
Beating me will not enhance your reputation.
Don’t bother messing with me; I forfeit.
Instead of hiding your weakness, conceal your strength. Play the lamb instead of the lion.